Milk production in Kerala is on the boil.
There is an increase of 1.3 lakh litres per day in the milk procured by the Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (Milma) across the State. The production is set to go up further, according to Milma.
A top official of Milma said the three regions of Milma have registered a rise of about 3 lakh litres of milk per day within the past three years.
Milma procured 6.8 lakh litres per day on an average in 2010. The procurement went up to 8.03 lakh litres per day in 2011. The average procurement was 8.07 litres per day in 2012. The procurement per day was 9.46 lakh litres in October 2013.
Over 12 lakh litres of milk is being sold by Milma across the State now. This includes milk procured from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. The main reason behind the increased volume is the incentive offered to the milk farmer. The cooperative milk marketing body gave an additional Rs.5 per litre to the farmer in 2011. Another additional amount of Rs.5 was given in 2012.
The extra money provided to the farmer leads to improved cattle management practices, including better feed for the cattle. The increase has been more in Malabar areas, according to the Milma official. Out of the current procurement of 9.46 lakh litres in the State, about 5 lakh litres of milk is procured from Malabar.
The rise in procured quantity does not mean that there is significant increase in the number of farmers in the Milma procurement network. While Milma pays about Rs.28-29 procurement price per litre, many small farmers who adopt direct marketing channels get Rs.30-35 per litre and hence would not opt for the cooperative network.